Time Machine over Wi-Fi?

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Lion (10.7)' started by ohla313, Feb 11, 2012.

  1. ohla313 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 24, 2010
    How can I do Time Machine backups to a hard drive connected to another computer?

    I have a MBA and would like to do Time Machine backups to a MBP that has an external drive connected to it. Both laptops are on the same Wi-Fi network. Ideally, it would be great if the MBA can select Time Machine and then backup to the external hard drive that is connected to the MBP.

    So how do I do this??

  2. Bill Gates macrumors 68020

    Bill Gates

    Jun 21, 2006
    I don't know if this will work or not, but I surmise that the steps are roughly as follows:

    1) Make sure that the host machine is set to "Wake for network access" within the Energy Saver preference pane.

    2) Enable file sharing on the host Mac, making sure that "Share files and folders using AFP" is selected under "Options." Then add the external hard drive to the "Shared Folders" list and add a user with read & write permissions.

    3) Mount the file share on the guest Mac. Then open the Time Machine preference pane and choose "Select Disk." Select the share that you just mounted.

    If this doesn't work someone else will have to chime in. I've never actually attempted what you're asking to do. I backup to a USB hard drive connected to an Airport Extreme router.
  3. ohla313 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Apr 24, 2010
    how do you mount the file share on the guest mac?
  4. Bill Gates macrumors 68020

    Bill Gates

    Jun 21, 2006
    Just browse to it in Finder.
  5. ohla313 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Apr 24, 2010
    Thanks! It worked but unfortunately the backups take way too long (5 hours for 800MB backup??) It probably is due to my 15mbps internet connection...

    Well at least I know what to do when I get faster speeds later!
  6. SuperCachetes macrumors 6502a


    Nov 28, 2010
    Away from you
    1. If this is the first time you are backing up, it has to back up the entire volume, so it does take a long time. Future backups will be incremental, meaning it only backs up what has changed. Most of my backups are over in minutes.

    2. Your internet speed has nothing to do with it; if it's all on the same wi-fi network, your backup system is limited only by the wi-fi network speed, which is probably a lot faster than 15Mbps.
  7. Taz Mangus macrumors 68040

    Taz Mangus

    Mar 10, 2011
    I want to point out that once you have added the share drive to the Time Machine options you don't have to manually mount the share again. All the other times Time Machine will automatically mount and unmount the share for you. This is how I do a backup of my MacBook Pro. It usually one takes a few minutes to do an incremental Time Machine backup.
  8. ohla313 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Apr 24, 2010
    The Time Machine drive for the MBA is only for that computer so I only plug it in when I need to run backups. So would the system function ok if I connect and re-connect the drive?
  9. Tander macrumors 6502a


    Oct 21, 2011
    Johannesburg, South Africa
    If TM cannot find the drive / share when backing up it will just propane it.

    As for mounting and un-mounting - there shouldn't be any issues if you do this on a regular biases.
  10. hafr macrumors 68030

    Sep 21, 2011
    Yes. But make sure the Time Machine switch is OFF. Two reasons: first, it won't save local snapshots which can take up a lot of precious space on your SSD. Second, it won't try to find the drive once an hour. When you connect the drive, just two finger click on the icon and choose "back up now".
  11. Crazy Badger macrumors 65816

    Crazy Badger

    Apr 1, 2008
    I backup my MBA over WIFI using Time Machine to a Netgear NAS.

    Worth doing the first backup using a wired connection, but then subsequent backups aren't too bad (10-30 minutes depending on changes)

    Use Time Machine Editor to change the frequency as I don't want it backing up every hour! Once every few days is good enough for me
  12. tootall macrumors regular

    Apr 17, 2011
    Quebec, Canada
    I guess you mean in Finder going to connect as a server?

    ... to address afp://10.255.etc..... ?

    If so I get an error message that it is not able to connect to the server, what am I doing wrong? (both computers are on the same network)
  13. snpower macrumors newbie

    Aug 29, 2005
    Some folks in this thread have mentioned using Time Machine over wi fi to a mounted volume connected to an Airport Extreme. Last I heard, this was not officially supported, and gave some people (including myself) unreliable backups. Has this changed with Mountain Lion?
  14. tomek160 macrumors newbie

    Feb 6, 2013
    Sorry for digging it up

    Hello guys,
    I am Tom and this is my first post here, so please, dont jump on me since I browsed the forum to find the answer but unsuccessfully. My quesiton is similar to this topic.

    I have recent MBP with external 2TB HDD hooked up (1.2 TB partition NTFS, 0.5 TB partition MAC OS-ex case sensitive Journaled and 0.3 MAC OS-ex. case sensitive Journaled).

    As for a Mac newbie, it took me a while how to format the partition to make it appropriete for TM for my computer ( I am using 0.5 TB partition for that). Now my girlfriend has MBA and I wanted to back her data up on the third partition I made.

    I checked that all points from the 1st post are met.
    Partition Format is correct. We are in the same network. I share the HDD and she has permissions to read and write. She has the partition mounted in MBA, her TM sees the partition but can not back up. The error pops out and backing up is postponed. Her computer is completely clean and new (no NTFS-3G or other stuff, I dont know if this is important).

    Maybe there is something I am doing wrong?
    Thanks in advance guys!

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